China’s foreign exchange reserves decreased by $28 billion in May to its lowest level since late 2011.
The world’s largest currency hoard declined to $3.19 trillion in May, after rising $7.1 billion in April and $10.3 billion in March, data from the People’s Bank of China showed on Tuesday.
Some analysts have attributed the drop to the dollar rally and sporadic official intervention, while other analysts said the drop did not necessarily suggest capital outflows.
“It mostly reflects exchange rate fluctuations which we estimate lowered the dollar value of the portion of the reserves held in other currencies by $25 billion,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, from Capital Economics.”
Economists surveyed had earlier predicted foreign exchange reserves would fall to $3.20 trillion from $3.22 recorded in April.
“Depreciation expectations faded and the central bank didn’t burn its reserves to intervene in the foreign exchange market,” said Li Wei, a China and Asia economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “The drop was largely due to the valuation effect of a strong dollar, which leads to the depreciation of other currencies.”
However, despite the weakness against the greenback, the central bank hasn’t had to deplete its cash to boost the yuan as stability returns to the yuan.
“The market was pretty calm as the yuan depreciated,” Liu Dongliang, a senior analyst at China Merchants Bank Co. in Shenzhen, said before the data release. “The central bank didn’t interfere in any significant way.”
Naira Opens the Week at N413.30 Against U.S Dollar
The Nigerian Naira opened better than expected against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters forex window on Monday following a record decline on Friday.
The local currency opened at N413.30 against the U.S Dollar on Monday, representing N1.6 or 0.39 percent improvement when compared to Friday’s closing rate of N414.90.
On Friday, investors turnover at the Investors and Exporters forex window stood at $193.59 million. While Naira spot rate dropped to as low as N415 against the United States Dollar and forward rate of the local current hits N432.05 to a greenback.
However, at the unregulated parallel market, the Naira remained at over N550 to a United States Dollar on Monday, according to operators.
Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria stopping the sale of forex to bureau de change operators and forcing media companies from publishing black market rates, the naira remained under pressure and trading at record lows across key foreign exchange markets.
Efforts to curb further decline and boost the local currency’s value are yet to crystalise as chronic scarcity due to years of weak foreign revenue and over-reliance on importation continues to weigh on Naira outlook.
Naira Gained Slightly at I&E Forex Window to N412.81/$US
Despite the Nigerian Naira trading at a record-low across the nation’s unregulated black market, the embattled currency opened slightly higher at N412.81 to a United States Dollar on Monday at the Investors and Exporters Forex Window, representing an increase of 0.08 percent when compared to the N412.88 it closed on Friday.
The improvement in Naira value was after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all depoisit money banks operating in the country to freeze bank accounts linked to Oniwinde Olusegun Adedotun, the founder of www.abokfx.com, a forex rate publishing platform.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN had blamed black market and bureau de change operators for the constant plunge in Naira value against its global counterparts and insisted that forex rates remained the apex bank stipulated rates and not the unregulated rates imposed by speculators and hoarders and published to the public by Abokifx and other business platforms.
“There was a particular time I asked our colleagues to call the so-called owner of abokiFX, that we want to understand his model and how he came about advertising those rate, we find him as someone, a Nigerian who lives in England and conducts this nefarious activity on our economy.
“It is economic sabotage and we will pursue him, wherever he is, we will report him to international security agencies, we will track him, Mr Oniwinde, we will find you, because we cannot allow you to continue to conduct an illegal activity that kills our economy.” Emefiele said.
The governor further stated that the website was set up primarily manipulate and speculate forex rates. He said “they get naira loans, use to purchase dollars, take a position, change the rate over a given period, sell the dollars they purchased and make a profit, this is completely illegal, unacceptable and we will pursue them.”
On Friday, the last time Abokifx published unregulated forex rates, Naira was qouted at N570 to a United States Dollar while the British Pound and the Euro were quoted at N770 and N655, respectively.
U.S Dollar Jumps to Three Weeks High on Better Than Expected Retail Sales
The United States Dollar rose to a three-week high after data from the Commerce Department showed that the U.S retail sales rebounded in the month of August despite falling consumer confidence.
The US Dollar Index rose to 93.40 on Monday to extend Friday breakout above the 93.00 key resistance level.
U.S retail sales jumped to its highest in five months in the month of August to beat 0.8 percent decline predicted by experts. Retail sales grew by 0.7 percent in August to increase the odds of the US Federal Reserve announcing tapering during next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
“U.S. consumption is not slowing as quickly as it appeared a month ago despite the fading stimulus, and the Delta variant did not much affect the industries feeding into retail sales,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York. “The economy continued to hum in August.”
Against the Japanese Yen, the U.S dollar strengthened to 109.48 from 109.91 attained on Friday on broad-based selloff during London trading session, while heavy selloff plunged British pound against the U.S dollar 1.36610 before reboundling slightly to 1.36946.
The Euro dropped from 1.17883 recorded on Friday to 1.16995 on Monday during London trading session.
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